Sanwo-Olu launches 15 high-capacity, locally made Nigerian ferries.


L-R: Some of the newly acquired ferryboats commissioned by Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Bodore Ferry terminal, Lekki, on Wednesday, 29 May 2024. Inset: Alara of Ilara-Epe Kingdom, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo; Executive Vice-Chairman & C.E.O, Caverton Offshore Support Group, Mr. Olabode Makanjuola; General Manager, LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel; Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin and the Head of Service, Mr. Olabode Agoro during the commissioning.

By Favour Ochije

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a quest to remodel transportation in Lagos, on Wednesday launched 15 high-capacity, locally made Nigerian ferries at the Badore terminal, Lekki.

Sanwo-Olu said the locally built ferries symbolised commitment to transforming Lagos into a city that thrives on efficient, clean and sustainable transportation and strategic investments to ensuring that commuting on inland waterways becomes a viable and preferred choice.

“As we all know, Lagos’ unique geography, with approximately 22% of it’s landmark comprising waterways, offers us a tremendous opportunity.

“By introducing these 15 new ferries, we are not only saving countless hours otherwise lost in traffic, but also optimizing our public investment in water transportation,” he said.

The Governor revealed that through these OMIBUS boats, 15 out of the 20 local governments could be accessed within minutes.

He disclosed that plans were being made for WiFi to be installed in these ferries and that each of them has a capacity of 40 passengers, USB ports for charging devices and are operating on a cowry card payment system.

Samwo-Olu said that these modern ferries underscored the government’s dedication to sustainable transport development.

“Water transport, inherently eco-friendly, aligns with our vision for a greener Lagos. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to creating an integrated, multimodal transportation system that makes daily commutes smoother and more seamless,” he said.

The Governor further assured Lagosians that the boats are theirs and that the government is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagosians.

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“As we launch these ferries, we reaffirm our dedication to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagosians. We are investing in infrastructure that promotes safety, reliability, and convenience, while also reflecting the modernity and ambition of Lagos State.

“To the people of Lagos: These ferries are built for you, by you, and with your contributions. They symbolize better days ahead. As we launch them into our waterways, let us do so with collective pride and purpose. Let us continue to strive for excellence in all our endeavors,” he said.

Commissioner for Transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, said the OmiBus ferry project was initiated to transform commuting in the metropolis, with a special focus on rapid transiting and convenience.

“These modern ferries, with their advanced amenities and safety features, will not only ensure comfortability of passengers in secure journeys, they will also herald a new era of convenience and efficiency in Lagos.

“Mr. Governor’s visionary leadership and tireless effort in prioritising the development of our inland waterways has been nothing short of inspiring. This has laid the foundation for a transportation system that will serve future generations,” Osiyemi said.

LASWA General Manager, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the new vessels were designed with simple maintenance but high efficiency. He reiterated the agency’s commitment to ensuring safer, faster and accident-free journey on the Lagos waterways.

He said the local production of ferries would drive more local investments in waterways transportation, just as it would open more commercial routes and access to isolated communities.

Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Transportation, Temitope Adewale, said the success of the partnership had further raised the confidence of the public in Governor Sanwo-Olu, saying: “This is what Lagosians want. This will enhance intermodal transportation system that will give people the choice to use all means of mobility.”

Other highlights of the commissioning included the inspection of the manufacturing facility of the factory by the Governor.

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